Leafs vs Rangers Pregame January 26th
Arena: Madison Square Gardens
Toronto Maple Leafs (2-2-0) @ New York Rangers (1-3-0)
Puck Drop: 7:00pm EST
TV: CBC Radio: TSN 1050
Leafs Record Last Season: (2-1-1)
The Rangers and Leafs are both coming off a loss, and while expectations weren’t high for the Leafs coming into the season, expectations for New York were sky high, and if this abysmal 1-3 start continues, you can expect changes to be made. Last year the Rangers and Leafs split the season series with the away team winning both contests. The Leafs are 2-0 on the road so far this season with an 0-2 record to show for at home.
After a rather lacklustre goaltending effort by Ben Scrivens, it will be up to James Reimer to lead the Blue and White against a motivated Ranger squad. Reimer’s first start of the season was that 5-2 win against Pittsburgh. While he didn’t look amazing, he was solid and gave the Leafs a chance to win.
To put it simply, the Leafs need to capitalize on their powerplay. When they fail to do so, not only does it hurt them, but it rejuvenates the other team and gives away momentum. There should be no excuse for not scoring on extended 5-3’s. Maybe inserting a big body like JvR to screen the goaltender will be the trick, or how about setting up that deadly one timer Phaneuf has? We’ll see what Carlyle and company come up with, but getting the PP on track is a huge key to victory.
This will be the Leafs first glance at Rick Nash after they failed to acquire him in the offseason. Nash grew up a Leafs fan and will be looking to cash in against his boyhood team. The Leafs will have to be careful with Nash as his unique blend of size and skill could prove to be very dangerous.
Check out the postgame shortly after the game is completed.